Sunday, October 28, 2007


Constituency Commission Report affects Meath East

A delegation from the Ugandan National Parliament was on a visit to Ireland last week. I was fortunate enough to be asked to join them for lunch on one of the days they were in Dublin. They were interested to hear about life in Ireland and seemed particularly keen to talk about issues in relation to farming and trade.

Afterwards they came into the Senate Chamber, where I gave a speech on Education and Life Long Learning. Present throughout the debate was Minister Sean Haughey.

Later, during a debate on the Criminal Justice Bill, I told the Minister for Justice that we need to ensure that laws are not drafted in haste. We were being asked to amend a law that was only introduced by his predecessor earlier on this year.

Minister Haughey was back in the Chamber the following day. I had put down a Motion calling for him to state his intentions with regard to improving the structures for Post Leaving Certificate courses. At Dunboyne College of Further Education last week I had been asked to try to find out what the Minister's Plans are for the sector. His response is here.

This week saw the publication of the Constituency Commissions recommendations on the Dail Boundaries. The review is quite detailed when it comes to the Meath East / Louth Area. I will be studying it in depth over the coming while to get a sense of what it all means.

On Friday I attended a "Bounceathon" by the students of the ABACAS school on Fair Street, Drogheda, as part of the national Telethon event. Mayor Anthony Donohoe was also in attendance. I was tempted to get up on the trampoline - it looked like fun, but then I remembered my knees and thought better of it. Fair dues to the Mayor for throwing caution to the wind and stress-testing his ligaments!

Have you had a chance to look into getting the N2 reclassified as the M2 at ashbourne? I will refresh you on the reasons why I mentioned this iniatially. (1) Motorway looks much better on the map and could raise property prices. (2) Motorway makes area look more attractive to Foreign Direct Investors and domestic investors, either way it would help attract business to the area. (3) Its already 120km/h (4) The current situation makes a mockery of the motorway regulations everywhere else, i.e. learners not allowed onto motorways to do 120km/h (5) Current green signage and 120km/h speed limit is not legislated for in the rules of the road. Making a mockery of the rules which state only motorwys are 120km/h (6) Leave the last 1.5km as dual carriageway and then the Learners can get back on/off between the new and old N2 before the M50 junction to continue onto Dublin. (7) Irish Times motors section (front page)already criticised the situation (aug 15 2007) saying Minister Cullen said it was having the 120 speed limit temporarily before being redesignated motorway anyway so to avoid the lenghty motorway planning process and to deliver the project faster. A simple name change makes East Meath stand out on the map with three motorways and makes it look like it has great infrastructure. You really should publically question why the minister stands over this situation which belittles the rules of the road and motorway regulations and does east meath a diservice by under playing our infrastructure strenghts which could be used to attract investment. Ashbourne nearly has it all at this stage with a cineama on the way and a variety of shops and sports facilities. Business Investment is booming however its all logistics, a motorway stands out on the map and may attract higher value investment. Please consider public comment on this. again type "Roads Act 2007 ashbourne" into ireland . com for the article. Go to the "Roads in Ireland" article in wikipedia as well to see how it could work. They are all valid points why not take the credit for them publically.
I heard the piece on the N2 bypass this morning on LMFM. Very well made. To ensure something comes of it now you should send a letter to the NRA Chief and the minister and put the arguments forward that it should be changed. Dont let them have the excuse that they werent aware of the issue. 2 letters now could to the trick. Well Done and thanks for being proactive.
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